EghtesadOnline: Catalysts used for dry reforming of methane at Khuzestan Petrochemical Company has been indigenized with the help of two domestic companies.
Petrochemical Research and Technology Company has acquired the technical knowhow to produce the catalysts at Khwarizmi Technology Development Company, the National Petrochemical Company news website Nipna reported.
The initiative lessens the negative impact of the US economic siege on Iran. In the past two years local knowledge-based firms and manufactures have pooled minds to indigenize machinery and equipment for assorted industries.
Donald Trump announced fresh economic sanctions on Iran in August 2018 targeting key industrial sectors. In May of that year the belligerent US president tore up the landmark 2015 nuclear deal Iran had signed with six world powers and in November announced tough new sanctions against key sectors.
A catalyst is a substance that speeds up a chemical reaction but is not consumed by it. Most solid catalysts are metals or oxides, sulfides and halides of metallic elements and semi-metallic elements such as boron, aluminum and silicon.
The indigenized catalysts will be used in the dry reforming unit of Khuzestan Petrochemical Company, which is the only one of its kind in the country.
Many reforming technologies have been introduced in response to the increasing demand for synthesis gas, known as syngas, which is a fuel gas mixture consisting primarily of hydrogen and carbon monoxide. It is used as an intermediate in producing ammonia or methanol.
Transforming CO2 Into Syngas
One of the technologies is dry reforming of methane, also called carbon dioxide reforming, which is to produce syngas from the reaction of carbon dioxide with hydrocarbons such as methane. Dry reforming has the advantage of using the greenhouse gas CO2 as a reactant and transforming it into syngas.
Dry reforming of methane has gained increasing attention. Through this technology, natural gas can be converted into syngas, which is a well-known building block used for the production of alcohols and fuels. The technology is seen as resourceful and crucial for further reducing the footprint of natural gas.
Khwarizmi Company produces two grades of dry reforming catalysts, a semi active grade with less nickel content as well as an active one.
Located in Alborz Province, the company is a pioneer in the production of catalysts for petrochemical firms, refineries and chemical industries by utilizing modern technologies in the field of industrial catalyst science.
PRTC Indigenizing Catalysts
Based in Tehran, Petrochemical Research and Technology Company, a subsidiary of the National Petrochemical Company, is a major supplier of technology for producing petrochemicals relying on the national capabilities and local know-how.
According to its managing director, Iran will produce $215 million worth of catalysts for the petrochemical industry by 2022.
“PRTC is striving to improve technical know-how of petrochemical plants and produce catalysts and key chemicals,” Ali Pajouhan said earlier this year.
Forty categories of catalysts worth $400 million are used annually in the petrochemical industry, about half of which is indigenized.
Khuzestan Petrochemical Company, in southwestern Khuzestan Province, is the leading producer of two key engineering polymers including polycarbonates and epoxy resins in the Middle East.
Important features of the polymers is that they have high resistance and low weight, which allows them to substitute the conventional metals in many special applications.
Engineering polymers are used in industries such as aero-space, automobile, electronic, construction and production of home and medical devices as well as industrial and commercial products.